Thursday, June 08, 2017
Taking Hold of Our Mid-Life...
PAST REVISITED – Reflection # 4: Taking Hold of our Mid-Life
(Our age group in the OMI Philippine Province used to meet two times a years for mutual sharing of our experiences as religious and missionaries. We started doing this when we were young priests, that is, the first five years after ordination. But we have continued our annual meetings through mid-life to the present – now we are senior citizens.)
Twenty years ago, we began looking deeper into the mystery of mid-life. We, too, were caught in the challenges as well as crisis of mid life.
We were becoming aware of some unfinished business of the past and they are fast catching up with us and often we cannot handle them alone. This unfinished business had impact on the ministries as well as on our personal lives.
Then there were also body changes within us and often these changes were also accompanied by the rising need of affectivity tied to sexuality and intimacy.
Some writers speak of becoming aware of the shadows in our life as we grappled with our identity and personality.
It is in this mid life stage of our life, that the expression: “coming to our senses” becomes very appropriate as we grapple with our shadows, identity, personality and role and ministry.
The trodden path in embracing our mid life with all its limits, pains and beauty is coming to our senses. This is characterize by the following:
· Learning to forget the hurt and bitterness of the past but not their impacts in our lives;
· Learning to remember our sufferings and pains on the basis of our compassion;
· Learning to live inside our pains on the basis of empathy – the heart of forgiveness;
· Learning to “own” and “disown” foreclosed, repressed aspects of our life stories;
· Learning to find a sense of “equilibrium” or balance in our life; and
· Learning to live with certain ambiguity in our lives – there are NO such things as terminal or crystal clarity!
Attaboy! This is the path by which we truly embrace and assume our mid-life with all its pains and beauty!
Jun Mercado, OMI
NDU – January 8, 1997